The Second XCOM Saga, part 49
by Dan Repperger
November 11th, 2017…
- Australia requests a sample of alternate ammunition we’ve designed — but never built — for our slug-throwing weapons. Seeing no reason to withhold it, Dan grants the request.
November 19th, 2017…
- The council contacts us with an urgent request. An observatory in Kansas City — being used to track and research alien vessels — has been found-out. Intercepted alien hyperwave chatter speaks of a pending attack on the staff. The council wants us to go in and rescue the team lead. It’s a worthy cause, so command agrees.
- The ground team will consist of Dan, Alex, Krenzke, Ray, Jeremy, and Chris Mais. Ryan will take C3.
- Upon arrival, we meet with Dr. Marazuki. He informs us he’s been tracking alien flight paths in hopes of determining where the attackers come from. His research is incomplete, but Dan is intrigued to hear more once he’s safely away from this place. Now to get him to the Sky Ranger in one piece.
- No sooner than we reach the observatory’s exit, barfers begin swarming all over the outside of the building.
- Our weapons and armor wildly outclass any one of them, but they’re likely to attack in large numbers. Needing to start somewhere, we drop one after another, carving a bloody path to the evac site.
- The back lot of the facility is a mess of vehicles, coolant tanks, and wooden pallets. Fortunately, it will offer us plenty of cover for our ward. We also spot an abduction device dropped in the middle of it all. Dr. Marazuki assures us it wasn’t there before, so it looks like the aliens came hoping to take him alive.
- Ray is the first through the door.
- Trying to keep count of the images being fed to C3 through Ray’s helmet cam, Ryan estimates there are at least six barfers already waiting for us.
- Dan orders Ray into cover. The rest of us can move forward, prepared for the threat.
- Krenzke and Mais take up position. Alex charges around a corner, using his shotgun to force the enemy lines back a bit.
- Dan and Jeremy hold in the observatory to keep close guard on the doctor. Sending him outside with that many aliens is unacceptably dangerous. However, Jeremy can spot a stray alien from his position in the observatory and cuts it down.
- Several barfers combine their fire on Alex. His armor begins to melt and break away. He’s unharmed, but surrounded and in grave danger.
- Mais beheads the closest threat. Ray kills another. Krenzke drops a third.
- Dan passes control of the forward unit back to C3, since he doesn’t have eyes on the battle.
- Ryan orders Alex to pull back, but he takes a hit in the process. This one penetrates armor, injuring him, even if only lightly so.
- Mais bags another as Alex runs to Ray for first aid.
- With several aliens down and more likely on the way, Dan makes the call to move the doctor closer to evac. He tells Jeremy to stay close and provide supporting fire.
- More aliens drop down, landing behind our lines. The rearguard holds them off as the forward team escapes toward evac. Alex aces one and Krenzke bags another.
- Dan runs scout on the evac position. More barfers waiting. Ray is able to get one from distance, but the clouds of toxin — which our Titan armor can filter out — are hanging in our way, meaning we have to either hold the doctor back or take a wide route to the right side.
- Dan takes a hit to his chest, but it’s nothing his armor can’t handle.
- One of the nearby trucks explodes, showering debris across the area.
- Mais is able to reach Dan’s position.
- Seeing only one barfer near the landing site, Dan kills it and then orders Jeremy to lead the doctor forward. This may be the only opening we’ll get for a while.
- Another alien drops onto a nearby building, but Krenzke spots and drops it.
- Though the toxin cloud still hangs in the air, Dan decides that the position the doctor is crouched in is entirely too exposed. He sends him around the cloud and toward the Sky Ranger. Seconds later, the crew reports he’s aboard.
- 15 xenos dead, 0 XCOM losses. Alex will be spending two days in the infirmary.
- America sends some additional funding our direction. The doctor also joins our cause, along with one of his colleagues. Dan spends hours with the two, asking them about every wild theory they have on the origins of the alien craft. At some point, we have to take the war to them.